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Otter Channel Campsite

· East Sussex, Kent, England
3 acres hosted by Katie A.
15 tent pitches
Katie is a Star Host
Star Hosts are highly rated, responsive, and committed to providing incredible experiences.
Best tent sites: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Best in South East England: 2nd place
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Spacious, nature-friendly camping with campfires on the banks of the River Rother

Rare, elusive but wonderfully beautiful, there aren’t many otters in the south east of England. But when one was first spotted, for the first time in over 50 years, it was the River Rother that it called home. It’s a prime patch for it to have chosen, the waters glistening, the shaggy grass banks providing hiding nooks and shade. What a joy then, down river, on the quiet banks of that same waterway, to find another rare and beautiful thing: a low-key campsite with nature at it’s heart.

On the edge of the High Weald, three miles from Rye, the Otter Channel is a great escape for those looking to step away from their phone and enjoy the wonder of wildlife. There are less than 20 pitches here in total, but oodles of space, and the site offers splendid views over open farmland and the hills of the old shoreline that was once Romney Marsh before it joined the sea. It’s a great home for local wildlife, with grass left long around the edges, surrounding trees to climb and the flowing Rother alongside. Just sitting by the river is a great way to spend an afternoon, spotting the dragonflies, rising fish and, if you’re lucky, the piercing blue Kingfisher.

The site feels as natural as its setting: Campfires are allowed, there's a shop inside a horsebox and adventurous campers can try the three ‘Hot Bucket’ showers. Bathing under the stars with water you’ve boiled on the campfire is an experience to remember and, if you’re brave enough to rise to the challenge, you get to wear it like a badge of honour for the rest of the trip. There’s a real technique to the process but learning it is just as fun as the shower itself and if you’re feeling, well, a bit boring, then there are normal showers available too.

Kayaks and paddle boards are available to hire to make the most of the river during your stay but, for those looking to explore further afield, Pett Level beach has amazing cliff lines and is a great place to go crabbing. Some of the beach isn’t suitable for small children – it’s very rocky and bruised knees and feet are somewhat unavoidable – but it’s a fun day out for older kids and adults, and historic Hastings, Battle and Bodiam Castle are also within a half-hour drive too.

A divine tent pitch located on The Otter Channel. Located next to the River Rother with wonderful walks across the countryside right on your doorstep or tent door! With the River Rother being your neighbour, there is always a chance to paddle board or kayak along the river. You might be lucky to see the elusive, piercing blue kingfisher.
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115 Ratings · 84 reviews
Raúl D.recommends
May 7, 2024
Otter Channel
Great campsite with all the basics!
Amazing campsite. Katie is super nice and was super patient as I got lost and delayed on my bike. The honesty shop is great and it has essentials (but not real food - I guess due to licensing). Toilets and showers are free (not the ones where you need to pay £1 for 7 minutes...), but be aware they are rustic (aka, shower with a bucket and toilet is compost... No flushing). The site is small, clean and there's a nice atmosphere. Not one of those massive campsites with caravans and millions people. Exactly what I was looking for!
Lyle R.recommends
September 24, 2023
Otter Channel
Quick weekend getaway
Katie's campsite was fantastic. It was all you could need and ask for in a cosy camping getaway. The facilities were simple but all you needed. The land was well kept. The site was safe. Absolutely no complaints and would stay again in a heartbeat.
Clare W.recommends
September 18, 2023
Otter Channel
Lovely river next to the camp site. Pretty wild life. And delightful sunsets in the evenings. ( i would definitely recommend .. peaceful camp site.
Saul S.recommends
September 18, 2023
Otter Channel
Lovely spot by the water. Great facilities. Katie was a very welcoming host.
Vanessa E.recommends
September 5, 2023
Otter Channel
Just come back from a wonderful few nights at Otter Channel - lucked out with the weather and virtually has the place to ourselves. Basic but all you need. Swimming in the river was such a bonus. Stargazing and complete peace at night - perfect 😍
Mitchell B.recommends
September 4, 2023
Otter Channel
Lovely campsite located like a min walk from a beautiful river, perfect for young family’s or just couples, Katie was super nice and friendly and very helpful
East Sussex, Kent, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Katie A.Joined in January 2021
From the host
PLEASE NOTE THAT HIPCAMP ONLY ALLOWS YOU TO BOOK 1 X PITCH AT A TIME. SO IF IT SHOWS THERE IS NO AVAILABILITY FOR 2 PITCHES OR MORE, THIS WILL PROBABLY BE UNTRUE. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WISH TO BOOK MORE THAN ONE PITCH. THANKS In the heart of the East Sussex and Kent border is the location of the The Otter Channel campsite. It’s located on the edge of the River Rother which flows into Rye and out to sea. Surrounded by wildlife, twittering birds, mooing cows, stunning views, and in the summertime, the sound of the combine harvesting in the surrounding fields. It is the ideal place to mute the phone or even turn the phone off and enjoy that glass of your favourite tipple by the campfire. There are three compostable toilets which have been especially designed for The Otter Channel and eventually the ‘compost’ ends up back in our veggie patch! Don’t worry we do not sell the veg in the shop. There are three ‘Hot Bucket’ showers for the more adventurous and brave of the campers, there are no electric showers! It really is an experience to shower under the stars with water you have boiled on the campfire. There is a huge technique to the showering process, but learning it is just as fun. With washing up being the worst bit of camping, there is a basic washing up area, just to make it a little less painful. At The Otter Channel we always believe it is the Kid’s job, definitely not the Chef’s. We also hire out Fire Pits for £10 per stay.
Nearby attractions

The River Rother itself offers huge amounts of fun, from paddle boarding and kayaking to swimming – equipment is available to hire from Epic Life (07377184505). If you take a ten-minute drive to the town of Rye, you’ll be able to explore it in all its medieval glory. One of the most complete medieval towns left in England, its cobbled, windy streets are perfect for history buffs with its various antique shops, including The Mint and its fascinating Rye Art Gallery (01797222433). If that’s too much, climb to the top of St. Mary’s Spire for views of the whole town in one place, plus the estuary leading to Camber Sands. Once you see Camber Sands you might as well go there, it’s a short distance from Rye (or a fifteen-minute drive from the campsite). The beach is backed by cafés and restaurants and can get very busy in the summer months but it’s great for sandcastle building and a swim.

Food and drink

There are several scenic walks across farmland to the local village of Peasmarsh. It’s about 20 minutes to The Royal Oak (01797 230494) and The Horse and Cart (01797 230034). Both are dog friendly and have beautiful gardens and the latter serves fine pizzas. In Rye, try Webbe’s at The Fish Café (01797 222210) set inside a characterfully converted warehouse space and with a focus on fresh, local seafood and sustainable cookery.

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